I speak for the Student Bar Association and as a representative of our entire student body when I say we are happy you are here. We are glad you chose to spend the next several years at UConn Law and we look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks.
These first few days will seem like a whirlwind, with so much to take in and learn. Your SBA is here to help. Our purpose is to represent your interests to the administration, to foster a sense of community on campus, to help you create connections with alumni, and to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. You will meet many of our members at Orientation. Remember our faces—we will remind you of our names—and feel free to come to us at any time with questions or concerns you may have when starting this new and exciting chapter of your academic and professional lives.
In the next week or two, you will be invited to attend the Student Organization Fair, where you can learn about and join any of the more than 40 student organizations on campus. I encourage you to get involved with any that interest you. Law school is an incredible adventure. It is among the most challenging and rewarding things you can do, so getting involved with student groups outside the classroom greatly enhances the experience. It is also the best way to start networking.
You will soon find that the word “networking” is used frequently in law school. I cannot stress enough the importance of this skill. Make a point to talk to fellow students, to alumni, to professors, and to the dozens of employers who visit our campus each year. Find common ground and build relationships. Get involved with the Connecticut Bar Association (it’s free!), the American Bar Association (it’s free!), and the various local and affinity bar associations. Although you are just starting out, before you know it you will be searching for your first summer job, and from there, a career. There is no better time to start building your network than right now, and there are no better people to learn from than those who have been in your shoes.
I also encourage you to start thinking about whether you might like to be an SBA Class Representative. Elections for the 1L and L.L.M. class reps take place in only a few short weeks. Being a class representative is a great way to make a difference for yourself and your classmates, and to leave a lasting impression at UConn Law.
Finally, remember to breathe. The first semester is overwhelming but you are not alone. All faculty, staff, and upperclassmen are here for you. My years at UConn Law have been some of the best of my life. I am optimistic you will feel the same.